WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, and Facebook have all gone down in a major outage.
The apps, all owned by Facebook and run on shared infrastructure, completely stopped working after showing outage reports, according to the site downdetector.com, which monitors web traffic and site activity. Other products that are part of the same family of apps, such as Facebook Workplace, also stopped working.
NYTimes cited two Facebook security team members, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said it was unlikely that a cyberattack caused the issues. That’s because the technology behind the apps was still different enough that one hack was not likely to affect all of them at once.
The company is often cryptic about the causes of any issues, and does not tend to explain them even after they are fixed. In 2019, for instance, it suffered its biggest outage in years – and said only that it had “triggered an issue” during “routine maintenance operations”.
In a series of tweets, John Graham-Cumming, the chief technology officer of Cloudflare, a web infrastructure company, said the problem was likely with Facebook’s servers, which were not letting people connect to its sites like Instagram and WhatsApp.
Computers convert websites such as facebook.com to numeric internal protocol addresses, through a system that is likened to a phone’s address book, Mr. Graham-Cumming said. Facebook’s issue was the equivalent of removing people’s phone numbers from under their names in their address book, making it impossible to call them, he said. Cloudflare provides some of the systems that support Facebook’s internet infrastructure.